After weeks of heavy rain, whole neighbourhoods of Niger’s capital city, Niamey, have been flooded. The dyke downstream from the Sahel Academy and the Bible school broke two weeks ago, with the water breaking the compound walls and rushing through the campus. Earlier today, the dyke upstream also broke and a new wave of river water destroyed more homes and buildings.
The flooding has already displaced more than 226,000 people from their homes (1), and many SIM personnel have also been evacuated into temporary accommodation. Rescue efforts are underway to salvage materials from the school compound, and to retrieve essential items.
The torrent rapidly surpassed the level of the 2012 floods, which had led to the fortification of the compound and a new berm constructed around the school. SIM member Scott Eberle said, “This took many by surprise … parts of the compound are now only accessible by canoe or swimming.”
There is concern that the water will cut off more access roads, leaving residents stranded, but there is no idea how high the river will go. SIM Niger is keeping a close eye on the situation, particularly thinking of people and ministries who still remain on that side of the river.
“We need your prayers at this time. How do we help one another grieve well? How do we show Christ’s love to our neighbors in this tragedy? They are also grieving and have experienced devastating loss. How high will the river rise? How and when will we be able to rebuild?
“The questions feel unending. Our community feels fragile and battered and most are exhausted from being in emergency mode for so long. We are thankful for the continued hope we have in Jesus. Truly he is our rock during this time. Pray for us to cling to him in faithfulness. May he be glorified.”SIM Niger
To donate and help our ministries rebuild in the wake of this disaster, please click here and write Niger Flood Relief or Project 97260.
Thank you for your support.
(1) Al Jazeera news